Mother of four Julie Mills was in her own words “a wreck”. She had not worked for 20 years, had low self-esteem, was in a rut and badly needed a change.
That life change happened after she attended a Marks & Spencer workshop being held by disability employment specialists Remploy. Julie, aged 43, of Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taf, got a job as a customer assistant and has not looked back since.
Julie, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), is a carer for her grandfather and her low point came after her father died. “I was stressed and felt out of control.”
That was when she went to the Porth office of Remploy, the UK’s leading provider of specialist employment services for disabled people and those with health conditions. She had job coaching support, took part in group development sessions and one-to-one interview training.
She worked in the Food Hall of the M&S Talbot Green store in Llantrisant on two short term contracts before being made a permanent employee this year. She has now transferred to a new M&S store in Merthyr Tydfil.
“Working at M&S gave me the chance to feel more independent and better in myself. I still get days when I feel tired due my OCD, but it is more under control and I can leave things for another day which I couldn’t before I started work,” said Julie, whose children are aged six to 20.
“I’m really happy with the support I had from Remploy and M&S. I feel like I am finally doing something for myself rather than for others which I have done all my life,” she said.
Louise Dempster, Remploy regional account manager, said: “When I met Julie for the first time I knew that she would be perfect for M&S. It’s fantastic to see how much more confident she is and that she clearly loves her job and has made good friends at M&S.”
Louise Edwards, manager of the Talbot Green store, said: “Julie is a very hard working member of the team and pulls together with colleagues to get all tasks completed She has a lovely manner and is fantastic at customer service.”
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